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Plant Informational Database


Carica papaya

a.k.a. Paw Paw

Green, orange, or yellow fruit, often quite large and weighing several pounds. Fruits tend to be very fleshy, with an inside cavity containing numerous seeds. Flesh is sweet, sometimes mildly acidic, with a texture much like that of a melon.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


Very fast growing, perennial herb. While papaya's look much like a tree, they are not, and do not develop bark characteristic of trees. The plants typically grow 10-20ft tall, but may bear when only a few feet high. Most papaya's bear male and female flowers on separate trees. There is no way of telling the sex until flowering. Some varieties are bisexual.


They are easily killed by freezing and even frosty temperatures, although they are subtropical, and can be kept as a container plant and in many cases, grown as an annual.

Growing Environment

Trees are not salt tolerant, and while they enjoy lots of irrigation, they are not flooding tolerant. They do well in full sun.


By seeds.


Generally eaten raw, but also used in juices, chutneys, and various desserts.

Native Range

Native to tropical America. Grown worldwide in tropical and subtropical areas as a commercial crop. Papaya's spread easily and have become naturalized in many areas.

Additional Pictures

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Related Species

Carica goudotiana
Carica papaya
Carica pubescens
Mountain Papaya
Carica quercifolia
Oak Leaved Papaya
Jaracatia spinosa